Justin Nicolino (2-1, 3.77 ERA) and Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.49 ERA) are on the hill in the last of a four-game series between the Miami Marlins (51-76) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (76-49) at Marlins Park. The Pirates won the last game 7-2 and Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 27 and can be seen on FSFL and RTPT.
Nicolino pitched 7.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out four and walking one in a 4-2 defeat to the Phillies. Justin Bour (.256, 26 Rs, 12 HRs, 41 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. Cole went 7.0 innings, surrendering zero runs (one unearned), striking out eight and walking three in a 3-2 defeat to the Giants in his last outing. Andrew McCutchen (.300, 73 Rs, 20 HRs, 85 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Pirates, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and four RBIs.
Pittsburgh takes on Miami as a -170 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at seven runs. The Marlins have recorded an overall money line of -2,195 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 29-48. The Marlins have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 4.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.7 runs per game. The Marlins lead the MLB in extra base hits with 300. Miami is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 94 bases.
In the other locker room, Pittsburgh is coming in with an overall money line of +1,706 and an impressive record of 59-28 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 6-2 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Pittsburgh's pitching staff is one of the top in the NL, with a 3.17 ERA.
The Pirates have controlled the season series, 5-1. The Marlins have a 41-59 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Cole takes the mound. Nicolino (RHP) will be on the hill against the Pirates, who have a 62-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, Pittsburgh is 26-26, while Miami is 24-40.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Marlins have a 15-34 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Marlins are 36-20. The Pirates have a 53-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th, Miami is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 471 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the top half at 13th with 535.
Miami and Pittsburgh both rank near the bottom of the league in walks. Miami sits at 25th with 306 this season and Pittsburgh ranks 21st with 339.
The Marlins are 30-37 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Pirates are 50-23 when they hit at least one homer.